Adventures in Wonderland
A caucus-race and a long tale, Lewis Carroll, Seite 1 ( von 4 )
They were indeed a queer-looking party that assembled on the bank - the birds
with draggled feathers, the animals with their fur clinging close to them, and
all dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable.
The first question of course was, how to get dry again: they had a consultation
about this, and after a few minutes it seemed quite natural to Alice to find
herself talking familiarly with them, as if she had known them all her life.
Indeed, she had quite a long argument with the Lory, who at last turned sulky,
and would only say, "I am older than you, and must know better;" and
this Alice would not allow, without knowing how old it was, and as the Lory
positively refused to tell its age, there was no more to be said.
At last the Mouse, who seemed to be a person of some authority among them,
called out, "Sit down, all of you, and listen to me!
I'll soon make
you dry enough!" They all sat down at once, in a large ring, with the
Mouse in the middle. Alice kept her eyes anxiously fixed on it, for she felt
sure she would catch a bad cold if she did not get dry very soon.
"Ahem!" said the Mouse with an important air, "are you all
ready? This is the driest thing I know. Silence all round, if you please!
'William the Conqueror, whose cause was favoured by the pope, was soon
submitted to by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late much
accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Erwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia
and Northumbria -'"
"Ugh!" said the Lory, with a shiver.
"I beg your pardon!" said the Mouse, frowning, but very politely:
"Did you speak?"
"Not I!" said the Lory hastily.
"I thought you did," said the Mouse. - "I proceed. 'Edwin and
Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria, declared for him; and even
Stigand, the patriotic archbishop of Canterbury, found it advisable -'"
"Found what?" said
"Found it," the Mouse
replied rather crossly: "of course you know what 'it' means."
"I know what 'it' means well enough, when
I find a
thing," said the Duck: "it's generally a frog or a worm. The question
is, what did the archbishop find?"
The Mouse did not notice this question, but hurriedly went to, "'- found
it advisable to go with Edgar Atheling to meet William and offer him the crown.
William's conduct at first was moderate. But the insolence of his Normans -'
How are you getting on now, my dear?" it continued, turning to Alice as it
"As wet as ever," said Alice in a melancholy tone: "it doesn't
seem to dry me at all."
"In that case," said the Dodo solemnly, rising to its feet, "I
move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more energetic
"Speak English!" said the Eaglet. "I don't know the meaning of
half those long words, and, what's more, I don't believe you do either!"
And the Eaglet bent down its head to hide a smile: some of the other birds
"What I was going to say," said the Dodo in an offended tone,
"was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race."
"What is a
Caucus-race?" said Alice; not that she wanted much to know, but the Dodo
had paused as if it thought that
to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.